US -> Switzerland least-hassle path

Discussion in 'Europe' started by aschao, Dec 10, 2005.

  1. aschao

    aschao New Member

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    Hello, I am a US undergraduate freshman who is intent on practicing general or specialty medicine in Switzerland for a career. What is the least-hassle path for a young US citizen to become a physician in Switzerland? Here are some ideas that I have thought of (though not researched to find out if they are actually possible):

    1. Full medical training in US, then permanently move to Switzerland
    2. Medical School in US, then permanently move to Switzerland for residency/internship
    3. US undergraduate, then permanently move to Switzerland for medical training and life.
    4. Transfer undergraduate education to a school in Switzerland as soon as possible.
    5. Any of those: moving to an EU nation as a certification/licensure stepping stone, and finally to Switzerland.

    Can anyone with any even mildly related experience give me some advice? I'm willing to do anything to reach the final goal; I just want to get there with the least hassle. I would also like to raise my family in Switzerland, if that affects the citizen/perm. resident status at all.

    Searching the forums, I found http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissinfo.html?siteSect=511&sid=1673228 , but without any additional detail. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!
     
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  3. avenirv

    avenirv Member
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    "5. Any of those: moving to another EU nation as a certification/licensure stepping stone, and finally to Switzerland."

    if you love that country so much, you should start by knowing better the country.
    switzerland is NOT another EU country. it is NOT at all a EU country.
     
  4. PathOne

    PathOne Derminatrix
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    I'd recommend contacting the Swiss embassy in Washington.
    However, be aware that getting a license in Switzerland has traditionally been tougher than to get into a Swiss bank vault. They've had (have?) stringent citizenship/perm residence requirements, and don't even have a national licensing system. Medical licenses are granted by the highly autonomous "Cantons" that make up the Swiss federation. To top it all off, there's concern about an oversupply of physicians.

    However, note that the Swiss medical schools are generally considered VERY good (but also tough to get into, again with citizenship etc. requirements).
     
  5. cfdavid

    cfdavid Membership Revoked
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    if you read his comment more carefully, you'll see that avenirv does, in fact, realize that Switzerland is not an EU member. he's suggesing first moving to an EU member state, and THEN on to Switzerland.
     
  6. APACHE3

    APACHE3 Senior Member
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    I went to med school in Eastern Europe (Hungary) and one of my classmates was Swiss/Hungarian and got a nephrology residency. They have a different system, so you need to be careful, you actually start out in intership as nephro, cards, GI...strange system, but hey, the Swiss know what they are doing. You need to speak one of the FOUR official languages and English is NOT one of them, plus if it were that easy, the Indian docs would have already beat you to it!! :) GL, but it will be difficult. :thumbup:
     
  7. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    Good point. I think that has deterred a lot of other potential residents!
     
  8. hardy

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    Probably easiest.

    As far as I know, you need to do residency in the US to practice medicine in Switzerland.

    Only Swiss citizens and permanent residents can attend medical school. In addition it's a 6 year program and you need the Swiss high school leaving exam (Matura). With a US undergraduate degree, you would still need to take a test on Swiss history and geography for that. Unless you are willing to spend the 2 extra years and can become a resident, this will not work.

    Swiss medical schools are 6 year programs. You do not need an undergraduate degree to go to medical school.

    This still won't allow you to reside in Switzerland. I would say this is a bad move, as a lot of doctors from neighboring countries try to come to Switzerland and this will become more difficult in the next few years.

    Make sure you go to Switzerland often and interact with people professionally. This can help a lot once you are ready to move to Switzerland. Easiest would probably be to marry a Swiss citizen ;)
     
  9. brightblueeyes

    brightblueeyes Senior Member
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    Actually, marrying a Swiss citizen doesn't automatically confer citizenship. It makes naturalization easier but there are still several other requirements:

    1. You have lived in Switzerland for a total of five years;
    2. You have resided in Switzerland over the past year;
    3. You have been living in common law marriage with a Swiss citizen for the past three years.

    Doing all training in the US and trying to simply move to Switzerland might be tough. Unless things have changed recently, in order for an American doctor to practice Medicine in a canton, he or she has to show that no Swiss doctors are available to provide the service he or she intends to provide.

    There are several agreements both with the EU as a whole and smaller subgroups of EU countries. French and German doctors probably have a better chance of practicing in Switzerland than doctors from most other countries but since 2002 (I might be slightly off on the year) it's been tough for them as well.

    On a French med student forum I've come across a couple of French students who are studying at Swiss med schools. (I'm not sure how they got in without Swiss citizenship.) And they seem to be scrambling to try to do their postgraduate training in France. I suspect they're doing this because it's so hard for non-citizens to get permission to do Swiss postgraduate medical training.
     
  10. hardy

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    Marriage to a citizen gives you permanent residency, which is enough to work in a hospital setting and obtain training. You only need citizenship if you want to open your own practice.
     
  11. brightblueeyes

    brightblueeyes Senior Member
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    Good point.

    Sooo, are you Swiss?








    ...and are you available? ;)
     

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